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FYRES: Fall 2013 Students

Meet the FYRES students!

In Fall 2013, the FYRES class consists of 20 students with diverse backgrounds and interests.

 

 

Carolina Angulo

2012 FYRES Student Kathryn GerberMajor: Geology
Hometown: Athens, GA
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "Getting to go out to the dunes, application of things learned in the classroom, and to research outside."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Thursdays are the highlight of my week because I get to go off campus and be in nature"

 

 

Anna Camilleri

2012 FYRES Student Sarah HarefaMajor: Environmental Engineering
Hometown: Grandville, MI

What is an interesting fact about you? I am the first engineering student to take this course.
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The opportunity to do research outside of the classroom"
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Going out to the dunes every week and being off-campus for a little bit."

 

 

Ethan DeVries

2012 FYRES Student Elaine HilverdaMajor: Economics
Hometown: Wyoming, MI
What is an interesting fact about you? "I am an identical twin."
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The hands-on aspect of research and being out in nature."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Jumping off a decent size scarp on the the ridge."

 

 

Joshua DeVries

2012 FYRES Student Alex KurtzMajor: Accounting
Hometown:Wyoming, MI
What is an interesting fact about you? "I'm a twin."
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "I have always lived in Michigan and have enjoyed the dunes many times, but I really wanted to understand how they are shaped."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Throwing a frisbee down a dune and having Logan run down to get in... and then climb back up."

 

 

Nichole Devries

2012 FYRES Student Evan LeggeMajor: Spanish
Hometown: Allendale, MI
What is an interesting fact about you? "I spent six months last year in Peru!"
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "I love to be at the beach and see how beaches and dunes change."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "The lab periods out on the dunes have been great. It's very interesting to apply class-learning to actual research."

 

 

Jonathan Gorter

2012 FYRES Student Gabe LePageMajor: International Development and Environmental Studies
Hometown: Cutlerville, MI
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The opportunity to study in the field of Michigan's dunes."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Setting-up research equipment on a foredune."

 

 

 

Lincoln Grevengoed

2012 FYRES Student Michael MessinaMajor: Geology
Hometown: Vero Beach, FL
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The chance to get some field experience."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Seeing the views from the tops of the dunes."

 

 

 

 

Matthew Haugh

2012 FYRES Student Cassie MiceliMajor: Political Science
Hometown: Salina, KS
What is an interesting fact about you? "I have hiked forty miles in about five days, with a couple hundred feet of ascent and descent."
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The thought of not only studying an interesting subject but also getting to witness the concepts first-hand while doing hands-on projects on the dunes."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Going out on a Saturday to help Professor van Dijk set-up equipment for her research."

 

 

Abigail Hocking

2012 FYRES Student Josh NieuwsmaMajor: International Development and Psychology
Hometown: Highland, MI
What is an interesting fact about you? "I enjoy writing and reading poetry and hope to be published one day."

What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "I loved the idea of being able to actually get out of the classroom and conduct my learning while being immersed in the beauty of God's creation. In addition, I was always a mathematically challenged student, and this science class seemed like the wisest option for me, personally."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Professor van Dijk does an excellent job of explaining concepts to students who may not be scientifically minded or pursuing a science major. I personally have always despised and resented science courses, but this class helped me to approach the scientific field with a new perspective and new-found enjoyment."

 

 

Barak Howell

2012 FYRES Student Krystal PerryMajor: International Development
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
What is an interesting fact about you? "My major is in International Development and yet I'm in a research program on dunes--draw your own conclusions."
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "My amazing advisor brought this program to my attention during passport. I jumped at the chance to escape the Calvin bubble on a weekly basis and to dabble with the concept of experimental, hands-on learning for a science course."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Discovering a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip on our first midterm exam. Professor van Dijk is an amazing instructor and brings fun twists into an otherwise overlooked topic."

 

 

Megan Koopman

2012 FYRES Student Eleighna PratherMajor: Business Marketing
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
What is an interesting fact about you? "I can whistle through my teeth."
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "I love the dunes in Michigan and I also enjoy hand-on research, so this class seemed like a great fit."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "I really love just being on the dunes, but one specific one is walking back in the water on a beautiful day after surveying in the hot sand."

 

 

Eric Medema

2012 FYRES Student Veronika SchultzMajor: Business Marketing
Hometown: Ada, MI
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The outdoor and off-campus aspect, as well as the dunes, because who doesn't like the dunes."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Just being out at the dunes soaking up the rays."

 

 

Joel Newswanger

2012 FYRES Student Danny ShislerMajor: Environmental Science
Hometown: Manchester, KY
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "Doing lab outside."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Using the total station."

 

 

 

 

 

Isla Peterson

2012 FYRES Student Jen-Li SinMajor: Secondary Education with a focus in English and Spanish
Hometown: Holland, MI
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The idea of researching and learning about an environment on site was very exciting to me."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "I loved our surveying the dunes lab. Creating a profile graph of the dune, while challenging, was a lot of fun."

 

 

Jacob Santucci

2012 FYRES Student Natasha StrydhorstMajor: Geology
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
What is an interesting fact about you? "A few years ago I raced BMX."

What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "It is a course in my major and we are able to get off-campus once a week."
What is a highlight of your semester in the course thus far? "A highlight was when I jumped off the dune one week."

 

 

Anna Selles

2012 FYRES Student Jake SwinefordMajor: International Relations
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The opportunity to go to the dunes and do research first-hand."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "Seeing the view of the lake from the top of the dunes."

 

 

 

 

 

John Spykman

2012 FYRES Student Lucas Vander BiltMajor: Business Finance
Hometown: Lafayette, IN
What is an interesting fact about you? "I can cook Minute-Rice in 50 seconds."
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The opportunity to be outdoors as part of a class was very attractive! I love research and the ability to do so at the dunes is an awesome thing. Also, being from Indiana, going to the dunes is a special treat."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "The lab period has been a great part of the FYRES course. As part of the surveying team, I was able to use an Electronic Total Station to survey the topography of a major blowout in a dune system."

 

 

Cal Thorne

2012 FYRES Student Ashley Van WykMajor: Undecided
Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI
What is an interesting fact about you? "I love travelling."
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "The travelling to and studying on the dunes sounded fun."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "The great weather we've had at the dunes."

 

 

 

 

Angela Tiemeyer

2012 FYRES Student Matt WilliamsMajor: Psychology
Hometown: Martin, MI
What is an interesting fact about you? "I love Laffy Taffy jokes."
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "Having class outside."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "The incredible rainbow we saw coming back from one of the labs."

 

 

 

Logan Walters

2012 FYRES Student Alek ZapataMajor: Geography
Hometown: Hudsonville, MI
What is an interesting fact about you? "I like to be active and play lots of sports."
What initially attracted you to the FYRES course? "I was initially attracted because I love being outdoors and having the ability to go to the dunes to learn is awesome."
What is a highlight from your time in Geography 181 thus far? "When my group and I did a wind measurement study on Dune 8 in Hoffmaster State Park."